Help me convert this to a coop!


May 29, 2011
Here's to hoping my pic will post, but this is my little building that I will be converting into a coop- size is 3'x4' and 3.5' tall. I will have external nesting boxes, and will be raising it, as well as possibly building a new roof a little higher for ventilation and bigger for rain cover. Let me know what your thoughts are, I need all the input I can get!


Here's a shot of the inside, bare plywood and no floor, just hoping these pics show up!

With the external nest box in the back you will be fine. You can build a 2 feet stand or use a few cement blocks to put your coop on. The underneath area give them place to hide when hot, cold or rainy day. You do need to add the 2"x4" roost. My coop is 68" long and can hold about 15-20 chickens. I made the template for easy install/remove the 2"x4" roost. You can find that by using the search option.

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Katydid, I'm thinking 2-3, and we live in Colorado. Weather get's cold here, but I'm not in the mountains so we have a lot of mild winter days and not an over abundant amount of snow. I am planning on having it raised 2 ft, and making an attached run as well as eventually a movable hoop run. We will free range only when we're out, as we do have predators around- feral cats, have seen hawks at times, and we live in fox and coyote area as well, but don't see them much at all.
I'm glad you're not wanting to keep more than 2-3 hens in there. Keep in mind that bigger is always better when it comes to keeping chickens, and we tend to end up with more chickens than we anticipate.
I started out wanting 3-4 hens in a cute 4'x8' coop. We now have two coops of that size in addition to a 24'x36' barn coop to house our 32 chickens. *wry smile* Just something to keep in mind: chickens can be addictive!

With that out of the way, I think an outside nesting box is a great idea. You only need one nesting box for every 4-5 hens, so more than one on a coop that size would be superfluous. I'd add a perch made out of a 2x4 with a poop board underneath it, to help keep the floor clean and lessen the chance of problems with cocci.

Personally, I'd go with a slanted metal roof with the slant toward the back. It might seem like an obvious thing to recommend but just this weekend I met some folks who unthinkingly built their coop with the slant toward the front so their run was a muddy mess! It's nice if the rain runs off the back!
I also think raising the roof and adding cross ventilation are great ideas. If it gets windy, you'll want a hood or something to deflect the wind coming through the vents, especially in winter.

Also, if it falls below 20 degrees or so in the winter, depending on the type of birds you'll be keeping, you'll want to orient the coop so that you have access to electricity and can run a heat lamp in there since adding insulation will probably take away too much space.

Have you thought about creating a small, attached run, maybe 2" high or so, and adding wheels to the coop so you can use it as a chicken tractor? It's a great way to fertilize the land, make sure your chickens have fresh ground to scratch, and keep them safe from predators.

Those are my thoughts, for what they're worth.
I hope you post the finished product!
I like the idea of raising the roof to build in ventilation, because those windows will most likely have to be covered in winter time so that you don't have cold air blowing directly on the birds (drafts), as it looks like they're at roost height now (or what will be roost heights once you have a roost in Setting the coop on a platform will give you your floor.
The only issue I see with that is that you'd need to redo your access, since it's now in the roof. Maybe you could use a sawzaw or jigsaw and cut a panel out in back, frame and hinge it??? That's a cute little building though...what had it been used for???
I too am nervous about the fact that I know we will want more than 2 or 3 hens, one of my girlfriends wanted just a few, and then her husband was able to build her a large coop out of some wood garage doors, and she has 10 already. This is our cheapest option to start with though, as we do have a larger shed on our property, but it is rather damaged and would need a lot more work than this one.

I have no idea what it was used for originally. It housed an old toilet when we moved in here, out in the backyard under the apple tree
., no clue why. It does have a chicken door already so I'm thinking it was some sort of animal house. I am contemplating turning it into a tractor, I was just thinking about the supplies we have at home right now and I don't know if I'd have enough to make a sturdy one. We do have some corrugated metal in our lean to, so that may be the way I go as far as roofing, or just plywood and shingled. Right now the roof is peaked in the middle, but I think slanting it to the back will be the best option. So far my plans are to have it raised 2' and to cut one side open and hinge it for a large access door, raise up the front side for the slanted roof, and make a floor with an extra 6" or more depth to allow room for bedding, which one side will have a drop down or removable panel for easy cleaning. definetly a 2x4" roost and poop board. Or I may just make it bigger because I do have more plywood in my garage, and since once the roof is off, why not, right? It is such a cute little building, I almost hate to frankencoop it

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